Mitchell Glossary


“A” Suffix on spinning reels – The letter “A” after the model number identified the reel to be fitted with a silent anti-reverse. This was initiated in 1978/1979. (Note: There are some models where this rule is not applicable.) Additionally, the “A” suffix may represent the same model being reissued. Some measure of uncertainty still exist on this matter.

Africa/Pro Africa - In 1999 Mitchell of France produced a limited production run of a 498X Pro P.U.M. named the Pro Africa. The significance of this reel was that its spool was designed specifically for braided line. There are many places in the world where braided line is very popular and very much in demand. This is one of four 498 Pro X models produced in the late 1990s. They are outstanding specimens of heavy-duty saltwater reels.

Albatros Importer and distributor of Mitchell articles for the Netherlands. Some reels sold by this distributor were also wearing this name either as a decal or by engraving. Some reels wore his logo –a flying albatross- or were engraved with the same name.

ALC” - The definition of these initials is Auto Lightning Cast. Found only on the last series of the 440 auto-bail models. Usually associated with Match grade versions.

Alphabetical Serial Numbers - In 1971 until 1989/1990, alphabetically ordered A through T, serial numbers for each respective model year had a letter prefix to indicate the year and month manufactured.

Anniversary” 300 Models - We know of three anniversary models released to the general public to commemorate special occasions. The 300 Pro Anniversary from 1987 commemorated the 40th Anniversary of the Mitchell 300. In 1992, Mitchell issued the 45th anniversary 300 that had the word Anniversary on the front plate.  The silver colour and foreign made Mitchell 300 Century from 1996/1997 commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the Mitchell 300.

Arca - Importer and distributor of Mitchell products for the Netherlands. Some reels sold by this distributor displayed this name either on a decal or by engraving. Some reels wore this fish logo – or were engraved with the same name.

Auto-bail Name given in Great Britain to the Mitchell 330 “Otomatic” model as it was originally called.

B Series - Reels manufactured in the late 1970s by Mitchell for a secondary vendor in France. Mitchell produced five models in the B Series: B10 (320), B20 (324), B30 (300), B40 (306), and B50 (386).   It appears the B Series was sold to a chain of discount stores throughout France.

Balzer - Importer and distributor of Mitchell products for Germany. Some reels sold by this distributor displayed this name either on a decal or by engraving. Some reels wore this logo -a capercaillie (a kind of grouse) were engraved with the same name.

Bass Pro Shops® - Bass Pro Shops (USA) marketed two Mitchell “G”-reels during 1987. One was 400G and the other was a 408G. The “G” is for the Gold trim. Both reels are similar to the DL series produced by Garcia in the mid 1960 to early 1970s.

Benjamin Name given in the Netherlands to indicate the small Mitchell 308-model. This name appeared also for a short time on the 308 reel distributed by Albatros (see Albatros).

BHV - A general store in Paris called “le Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville”. In the early 1960s, custom ordered from Mitchell three different models with the BHV logo on them. These three models were sold exclusively by this store as models engraved “BHV Weekend” (=314), “Super BHV” (=300), and “BHV Lourd” (=306).

BlackFish/B30 - The BlackFish reel is an enigma in as much as the current information about this model is that either Mitchell or a secondary vendor sold it exclusively in France. The reel had a decal with the name BlackFish. This model is basically a 300. Additionally, a collector found a BlackFish that has the designation “BlackFish B30”. Why the B Series was combined with the BlackFish series is uncertain and research is still pending.

Bronze Mitchell Models - In 1984, during the last year of Browning’s involvement with Mitchell, a bronze series was released which included the following models: 320, 324, 382, 906, 908, 910, 440ALC, a 3210 and a 3230. These nine models represent a rare commodity as not too many sets of these nine models were manufactured. It appears this series was only sold in France.

“C” Suffix - This was utilised in the later part of the 1960s by Garcia and again in the 1980s by Mitchell Sports. “C” signifies bearings in both the rotor and the handle axis.

C.A.P. - For many years the debate as to the exact definition of these initials has been ongoing. Taking into consideration historical accounting and the many facets associated with these particular initials, it is a collective opinion among Mitchell collectors that the initials C.A.P. were actually the initials of the first company to design and produce a round bodied reel that was later given to Carpano and Pons for refinement and distribution. That company was La Canne à Pêche of Angers. It is of opinion that when Carpano and Pons produced the CAP reel, credit was given to the name of the company who invented the reel, Canne à Pêche.  The letters C.A.P. were originally stamped by La Canne à Pêche on those prototypes given to Carpano & Pons which coincidentally were the same initials as Carpano & Pons and Charles A. Pons. Even though the majority of collectors agree to this conclusion, to provide fairness to the Carpano and Pons Company, we would posture to say CAP could also represent the initials for the Carpano and Pons establishment in France.  Additionally, the possibility exists that the initials are those of Charles A. Pons, one of the original designers of the reel.

C.A.P Super Name given in the Netherlands to indicate the Mitchell 314-model. This name appeared also for a short time on this reel distributed by Albatros (see Albatros).

Carpano & Pons - Founders, designers, and manufacturers of the CAP and Mitchell reel. In 1937-1938, the first Carpano and Pons round body reel was made for the tackle shop “La Canne à Pêche” under the simple name of C.A.P. The very first CAP was issued with a wooden rosewood handle, which was identical to the first handles, used on the Mitchell 300. The release time between the second and third version was approximately 9 years due to the hostilities in Europe during WWII.  In 1946 the third version was issued that was similar to the first two except for the side cover plate was no longer domed but slightly raised. There is speculation that the first two versions of the CAP were probably prototypes. After Carpano & Pons finished the work on the Canne à Peche and the Pecos reels, they pursued the manufacturing of their own round-body reel.

(La) Canne à Pêche - Was credited with inventing the first round bodied reels that were the predecessors and prototypes to the CAP reels produced by Carpano and Pons. This French company from Angers manufactured this reel in the mid-1930s.  Evidently, the reel needed some improvements prior to marketing; therefore, Carpano & Pons was contacted to refine their invention. After Carpano & Pons completed design refinements, the product was marketed in Europe.  La Canne à Peche made approximately five different versions of the round-bodied reels, each having the initials C.A.P. stamped on the body of the reel.

Cluses City in southern France were the Carpano & Pons Factory was located.

Combi Name given in the Netherlands to indicate the Mitchell 306-model. This name appeared also for a short time on this reel distributed by Albatros

Combo Name given to a reel of the 500-series combined with the appropriate rod. Often described as a “reel and rod combo”.

Conolon Was the brand name for the first Mitchell fiberglass rods.

Consul Name used in the Netherlands to indicate the Mitchell 320-model. This name appeared for a short time on this reel distributed by Albatros

Cross Wind (C.W.) Cross winding gave a faster oscillation on the spool causing the line to criss-cross at different points. Both cross wind and planamatic systems have merits inherent in their designs.

Cutaway Models - Mitchell produced numerous types of cutaways to be used as sales material.  The metal casing of the reel was cut out at various points to show the mechanics of the respective product.  Cutaways can be found of almost all-304 and egg-shaped models, including the very rare left-hand models.

Dauphin (French for dolphin) Is the name given in France to the Mitchell 316.

Decals - Prior to direct engraving, decals were placed on some models by various vendors. Garcia was the primary user of this identification method up until the late 1950s. Other European Mitchell distributors like Albatros, Arca and Balzer did the same.

(DL) Deluxe Models - Most Deluxe models were issued with the Garcia logo and were available from the early 1960 to the mid-1970s. The following models were made as DLs: 300DL, 301DL, 408DL, and 410DL.  There were other models manufactured in the DL family but were never sold to the general public.  These included a 304DL that was made as a special issue for select corporate individuals. There was a 308DL supposedly marketed in Europe to the public but this could not be validated.  It appears the 308DL was not mass marketed but produced as select issue for certain individuals and custom ordered for others. Mitchell says a 440DL was definitely made in small quantities and manufactured as presentation issue for select distribution.  Collectors believe other models were made in the DL fashion but there is no evidence to support this theory.

Demonstration Models Demonstration models were originally intended as salesmen samples to show the tackle store owners the inner workings of the reel.  These sales tools are full working reels with a clear acrylic plate showing the interior of the reel.  The 302, 386, 306, 308 and some other saltwater models in the 400 series were modified with these clear covers. A few models –the 320 i.e. – were made with a translucent rotor as well. Both the Demonstration and Cutaway models were intended for use as sales display items.

Dual (Modified Reel Foot) - Back in the early 1970s, Mitchell experimented with a modified reel foot. This new design would eliminate the feel of cold metal when fishing in a cold climate. The following models were produced with forked ends (dual): 500, 508, 510, 524, 540, and the 840. A special rod was required for these reels. No left-hand models known. The decal “Dual” was only used in Europe.

Fast Retrieve - Name given to the Mitchell 350 in Great Britain.

“G” Suffix - “G” as a suffix on a “400”-model implies Gold.  The letter “G” was used on two models – 400 and 408, issued by Bass Pro Shops and manufactured by Mitchell.

Galion - The Galion series of reels produced by Mitchell were very similar to the Kingfisher series produced for Garcia around the same time period. One of the major differences was that the larger Galions incorporated a manual pickup system whereas the Kingfisher models only utilised a full bail mechanism. some Galion models were released with the name Mitchell. These models are the 282, 283 288, 298, 382 and 398.

Garcia, Charles ( See History)

Hardy The famous House of Hardy distributed some Mitchell models in the late seventies.

“High Speed” Small red (or blue) sticker on the handle of the 400-series indicating the high retrieve ratio.

Impecco Company- An import/export company located in New Jersey, owned and operated by the DeSimone family.

Intermédiaire name given in France to the Mitchell 306 model.

Intermediate name used to indicate the 306 model at its release The name never figured on a reel. See also “Mer-Saumon/Mi-Lourd”.

Inverted Lettering - The early models of the 301 and the 303 had the lettering inverted on the reel when first manufactured.  The machined templates were set for right-handed models and not reconfigured for the left-hand pieces.  In later versions of these reels the problem was corrected, thereby making these early versions more desirable.

JACQUEMIN Maurice French engineer working at the Carpano & Pons Company from the 1930s. He is considered to be the “father” of the first egg-shaped model.

Johnson Worldwide Associates  ( JWA) This American company acquired Mitchell in 1990

“K” – see “Kingfisher”.

Kilt - This particular model was distributed in France by a vendor and sold at a discounted price. Al least four models were made with the Kilt insignia: Kilt 0 (Mitchell 300), Kilt 3 (Galion 14 Model), Kilt 4 (Mitchell CAP 304), and Kilt 7 (large Galion model).  All these models were made in the mid-1960s.

“Kingfisher” Some French Galion models were sold by Garcia under this brand name. Two digits followed the letter “K”. Colours of these models may differ from the original Galion colours. But not all Kingfisher-models were Galions

Kirk-Odo - This reel is identical in all aspects to the Kroydon (mentioned below) except Odo Establishment marketed it solely in Europe with only 20,000 units made.  The Kirk-Odo was named after the founder and owner of the Odo Company in France. During the late 1950s, the Odo Company assisted in the manufacturing of the 304-model to handle the high production at the Mitchell factory. The only part not made by Odo was the body of the 304. Odo made up to 3500 of these models per month for Mitchell till 1959 when Odo decided to branch out and manufacture their own reel: the “Kirk-Odo”. The Boston Camping Wholesalers of Massachusetts sold this same reel in the U.S.A. under the name “Kroydon”.  Boston Camping sold the reel exclusively through their mail-order catalogue in the New England region.

Koning (Dutch for “King”) Name used in the Netherlands to indicate the Mitchell 300-model. This name appeared also for a short time on this reel distributed by Albatros (refer to Albatros).

“L” Suffix - L suffix was inscribed next to the word Match on Match grade reels to signify that model was a left hand version. Only used on the first “Match”  and the 440 and 840 Match grade series.

Light Weight Name given in Great Britain to the Mitchell 320.

“Lightning Cast” These words can be found on the latest -black- 440A model and on the 2310R.D. and 2330R.D. Pulling a trigger on the rotor of the R.D.-models activated the opening of the bail arm.

“M” Prefix - Referring to Manufrance; not Mitchell. Used on a 340 model. See “Manufrance” below.

Manufrance/ St. Etienne – A mail order company in France that sold a variety of goods including firearms and fishing tackle through their catalogue. Mitchell produced one model –mechanically identical to the 340- painted olive green. We know of a M34 engraved “Balzer” and another engraved “Arca” that were ordered from Manufrance with their logo. A M34 engraved “Albatros” might therefore have existed.

Manual Pickup (MP) - In the US manual pickup system (MP) is used in lieu of a full bail system on select reels produced by Mitchell.  In Europe, the MP is called a “P.U.M.” There were approximately three variations of the internal workings of the MP wheel over the years. The most desirable of the three was the version having ball bearings inside the wheel, and screw at the rear end to adjust the race that secured the bearings.

Marignier – City in France (near Cluses) where the Mitchell Company is located since they left Cluses.

“Match” – was the only marking on two Mitchell engraved reels specially designed for competition coarse fishing. Released in the U.K.

“Match” as labelled on the 440 and 840 models These models incorporated auto-bail systems, a very shallow spool and were fine-tuned for competitive casting. The Match reels were sold to the public and inscribed on the top of the reel face with Match (in script). All the major vendors sold them but were limited to very low quantities by each vendor. Usually only a few thousand pieces were manufactured. (See James Partridge book on Mitchell Match reels)

“Mer-Saumon” The “Salt Water” Mitchell 302-model was sold in France under this name in the early fifties.

“Mi-Lourd” This decal was only found on the first 306 model and indicated the reel was built for sea- and salmon fishing. See also “Intermediate”.

Milbro - Importer and distributor of Mitchell articles for the United Kingdom.

“N” Suffix - Used only on the 302N models (not to be confused with the old style 302) issued in 1975 through 1978. The “N” signified a newly designed 302N which was a model number changing from the 386 to the 302N; both reels are identical. The 303N was nothing else than a -left-handed- 387.

Odd Model Numbers - Odd numbered models represent left-handed versions of that particular model. Also, the letter “L” was utilised on Match grade reels to indicate a left-hand model.

“Otomatic” - Mitchell used the name Otomatic for only one reel -the 330 model- released in 1955. This model became the 330 Otomatic in 1957 and eventually the 330.

Page - This was a Mitchell reel produced in both a model 300 and model 320, They were sold as the Page Reel by vendors in France.  The name Mitchell never appeared on the reel. Unfortunately, additional information about this item could not be found.

Pecos - Pecos was a model manufactured by Pecheur Ecossais of France.  In the mid 1930s, this company located in Paris, made a few variations of the Pecos reel.  During the production of the first model, the reel and its design concepts were given to Carpano & Pons for further refinement to the overall reel plus the manufacturing of the internal components.  The Pecos model, although extremely similar to the La Canne à Peche versions, was also the predecessor of Carpano & Pons initial offering of their version of the CAP.

Piraat (Dutch for “Pirate”) Name given in the Netherlands to indicate the Mitchell 316-model. This name appeared also –for a short time- on this reel distributed by Albatros (see there).

Planamatic 314 Name given to the 314 in 1958 to indicate it was a 304-bodied reel with planamatic gearing. See also “Super cap”.

Planamatic - Mitchell made two types of gear systems. One was a Planamatic (level wind) and Cross Wind. The difference between the two was that the level wind provided a more uniform line gathering on the spool. Both systems have merits inherent in their designs.

Presentation Models - In the early 1970s Mitchell produced both silver and gold plated reels as well as decoratively scrolled and engraved presentation pieces for select individuals.  Silver-plated and gold plated Mitchell 300s were issued to corporate officials to commemorate 25 years of Mitchell and 20,000,000 reels sold.  The decoratively scrolled 300s and 400s were issued in the 1970s to commemorate various occasions; not to be confused with the DL Series. At times, Mitchell was also known to issue one-of-a-kind pieces.

Presentation Global 410DL - Only three reels are known to exist.  It is a special issue from Mitchell to select individuals to commemorate 25 years and 20 million reels sold.  Written on the reel’s rotor are all the countries where Mitchell sold their product.

“Prince” - The name Prince marked on reels was originally marketed for sales in Europe. There were two models with the Prince logo; one was the 308 which had a slow retrieve ratio, and the other was the 358 -also called “Prince Rapid”- which was the high-speed version with similar gearing to the 408.

“Prisu” - A chain store that sold items under one unique price “à un prix unique” hence the name “prisunic”. In the late 1970s this store sold Mitchell reels under their name, Prisu. These models were manufactured by Mitchell and engraved “Prisu 0” which actually was a model 300. The “Prisu 4” was a 304-model. The store sold these reels at deeply discounted prices.

PRO - Pro implies “Professional”.  Pro was used by Mitchell Sports representing a standard model but aesthetically enhanced.

Promatic - This name was given to a particular reel that was manufactured by Mitchell in 1988 for a single tackle store located in Paris and owned by J.L. Bunel. The reel consisted of a 300 Pro body with a -black- 440 Auto Bail system. Less than 500 of these reels were made and sold to the general public. “Promatic” does not appear on the side of the reel.

P.U.M. - is the abbreviation for the French “Pick Up Manuel” or Manual Pick Up. See also PUM.

Pure Fishing In 2000 Mitchell became part of the Pure Fishing Company which includes also Abu Garcia, Fenwick and Berkley.

“Rapid” - Rapid was used just one time in 1956 on a Mitchell reel to imply a quick retrieve (5/1). The actual reel was renamed 350 5/1 in 1957.

Red Mitchell 300 - There is a European catalogue in the early 1950s that highlight a “Red” Mitchell reel. Unfortunately, its existence cannot be validated. This would be a fascinating piece if ever found.

Red, White & Blue Mitchell - As relayed to me, during the US 1976 Bicentennial, Garcia Mitchell experimented with a red, white and blue reel. There is no history of this reel ever being manufactured, although there are a few examples in circulation. No mfg data to substantiate Its existence. Reel cannot be validated.

Roi (French for “King”) was the name used in France to indicate the Mitchell 300.

Salmon - Name given in Great Britain to indicate the Mitchell 316.

Salt Water - The first sea-reels (left- en right-handed) that later (after 1957) became the 302 and 303 models were engraved “Salt Water”. This engraving was also used on the -high speed- 402 and 403 models.

“S” Suffix - The S suffix has always been subjected to debate as to what it represents. When applied to Mitchell Sports reels, it is used consistently with skirted spools. The S, when applied to Browning’s versions, is found on both skirted and non-skirted reels. The use of the suffix on Browning reels probably implies special gearing or use in saltwater. The S could also represent the same model being reissued between owners/vendors with significant internal/external modifications.  Finally, it is possible the S suffix was applicable to some other manufacturing designation that is not apparent. We all agree on the following: The “S” suffix on the 200-series only stands for Skirted spool on the 218S and 228S. We really don’t know where it stands for on the other models of these series! The “S” suffix on the 304S stands for Special or Super to indicate it’s a  304 in the body of a 314 but without planamatic gearing. The “S” suffix on the 300- and 400-series always stands for the presence of a Skirted spool.

“Special” - A label with the word “Special” was affixed to all the 400 series reels sold in Europe that were also manufactured for Garcia. To fill in the void where the Garcia sticker was normally affixed, a red decal reading “Special” was used in its place.

Special Presentation - In 1964, to commemorate the 5th Anniversary of the Fisherman Digest magazine, a specially engraved 300 was given to them as a gift. The raised engravings and trim was gold plated.

Standaard (Dutch for “Standard”) – Other name given in The Netherlands to indicate the Mitchell 300-model.

St. Etienne – See Manufrance.

Super Cap Name given to the 314 model to indicate it was an improved 304 (Cap) model with “planamatic” gearing. Not engraved on reel.

Three Sisters - This is a nickname applied to three different models: 440, 540, and 840. Because the design of these models incorporated an autobail system and was used in casting competitions, collectors fondly refer to them as such.

Tournament Casters (TC) - These reels incorporated an auto bail system and were inscribed “Match” on the top of the drive housing. The models that were associated with Match were the first Match-models, the 440s and 840s. (See also under “Match”)

Tournament Reels - Back in the late 1960s to the early 1970s tournament casting became a very popular sport especially in the United Kingdom. During this time, Mitchell produced special tournament casting reels. These reels were built on a model 300 frame with special modifications including elongated spools, special gearing, and manual pickups. These reels were not sold to the general public but were given to or purchased by the professional caster. They are highly prized and sort after by collectors.  Mitchell, Albatros and Garcia were the only three companies who had their logo placed on these reels.

“UL” suffix - Ultra Light refers to one of the smallest reels produced by Mitchell.  It is used as a symbolism for very light weight reels. This suffix was only used on the –foreign made- 310 version produced after 1991.

Ultra Lite - Was the designation of the 308, 358 and 408 models. These reels were made for very light spin fishing for trout.

Universel (French for “universal”) was another name given in France to the Mitchell 300.

Vatican Special - As the story was relayed, in the latter part of the 1960s a 300DL special presentation was given as a gift to the Vatican. As of this writing, it is not certain if the reel had a personalised inscription.

White Mitchell 300 - Sometime in the late 1960s, Garcia Mitchell experimented with an all white Mitchell 300 known as a Ladies Special or White Ghost. It appears this reel was not officially marketed but was destined for sales in Canada only.  Picture not shown in this book.

White Spool Saltwater Series - Garcia Mitchell, in 1979, made a nine reel saltwater set with white spools.  The majority of these reels were sold in Europe although, one or two where marketed in North America.  This is a very rare nine reel set that brings high value to the collector. The series consists of a 302N,386, 396FB, 396MP, 486, a 496, a 496 MP, a 488, and a 498 MP.  Of the five reels the 496 MP is super rare with a nominal amount produced in 1979.

“X” Suffix - The letter X was used on three separate occasions. In the early 1960s it was used on the box next to the model number which indicated the box included “extra” accessories along with the standard reel. The reel did not indicate the letter X on its body.  The next time the X was used was in the late 1990s.  It was incorporated directly on the reel as part of the model number. The last time this letter was used was in 2001 to indicate the (new) Mitchell 300X and 300X Pro.

Zee (Dutch for “Sea”) – Name given in the Netherlands to the Mitchell 302-model. This name appeared also –for a short time- on this reel distributed by Albatros (see Albatros).